The death of Santa

Saturday, December 06, 2008


This past week my daughter informed her first grade class that Santa Claus was dead.  When confronted with skepticism, she told the doubters that her father "said so."  Some background information is in order.  My daughter has always had some doubts about Santa.  She knew that characters like Dora, Ariel, and Cindarella were not real, so Santa seemed somewhat implausible.  My wife and I have always taken a neutral approach towards Santa.  If she wanted to believe, write letters, leave out cookies, we were fine with that.  On the other hand, if she asked us if he was real, then we saw no need to lie to her and I never cared for the parenting approach that involved Santa as some omniscient quasi-deity that watching to see if you are good (just like the Dept. of Homeland Security).

I was probably in 2nd grade when I figured out that Santa wasn't real.  My parents never made that big deal out of Santa.  We always opened presents on Christmas Eve (like many Scandanavian families) and had a few small presents from "Santa" the next morning.  My wife's family did the whole Christmas morning Santa thing.  Her Dad even dressed up as Santa on Christmas Eve and none of the kids ever figured out it was him until they were much older.  

Following the conversation on doubting Santa, we bought her a book on the historical and mythological origins of Santa.  Knowing that he was alive hundreds of years ago, she figured out that he was probably dead now, hence the conclusion that Santa Claus is dead.  I do remember talking to her about keeping her conclusions to herself, as some kids believed there was a Santa and it wasn't up to her to kids otherwise.  I am sure her teacher will get some calls on this one.

6 comments:

Tony 10:13 PM  

SANTA'S DEAD? WHAT DO YOU MEAN? DOES THIS MEAN WE DON'T GET PRESENTS??? BUT I'VE BEEN GOOD ALL YEAR!

Thanks for nothing.

:-)

Smitty 9:38 AM  

This....was hysterical. I laughed out loud. Several times. My absolute favorite gem of the whole piece: When confronted with skepticism, she told the doubters that her father "said so." How you chose to phrase that made it even more rich.

Smitty Jr. truly, firmly believes that Santa is real. He did, however, inform Mrs. Smitty and I that he will get presents from Santa regardless of his behavior.

He sorta has us by the balls on this one.

steves 6:58 PM  

Her teacher is a friend of ours and handled it pretty well. I doubt many of the kids even remembered what was said by the next day.

As for other myths, she is convinced that the tooth fairy is real.

BUT I'VE BEEN GOOD ALL YEAR!

Have you?

Bob 8:37 PM  

I must have been in about 2nd grade when the kids across the street informed me that Santa wasn't real, but if they were good Jesus would bring them presents.

I am thinking their parents missed the whole point of Jesus.

B Mac 9:07 PM  

I doubt many of the kids even remembered what was said by the next day.

Possibly... or possibly, by the next day the story had morphed into one in which you personally killed Santa.

I am thinking their parents missed the whole point of Jesus.

Yeah, and besides... Jesus walked everywhere. Do you know how long it would take him to deliver all of that crap? WAY longer than a guy with a sleigh and flying reindeer...

Mrs. Smitty,  12:15 PM  

I was in 2nd grade when I told my kindergarten neighbor that Santa wasn't real. Her horrified look made my 2nd grade brain realize I did something wrong so I followed it up with "but the tooth fairy and Easter bunny are real" I'm not sure what she was saying through her tears but my mom sure did get an angry phone call that night.

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